Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I have mentioned more than once that I enjoy good mystery stories. My personal library has a number of classic "who dunnits" and our video/DVD library has many Poirot, Miss Marple and other BBC mysteries.

Most of the time I can make sense of what I see every day and I am not on the lookout for trouble. Some things do puzzle me and leave me asking questions that may not have obvious answers. Last spring I saw a dark shape in the river from the bridge near the hospital. My first thought was that it was a body. I noted the date and time and then talked myself out of the silly notion when I should have called the police. Two weeks later when the water levels had dropped, a body was found in that exact location. (death by misadventure) But most of the time my mysterious findings are far less concerning. Recent finding include...

...a suitcase beside an aluminum drainage pipe along a river trail. I took a picture of it, listened closely for any ticking, but did not have the courage to open it. I left wondering if a pile of unmarked cash was inside. Or perhaps it contained something else I really didn't want to see.

Along the same trail I noticed an Inuksuk on a rocky shoal in the middle of the river. Who built it and how did they get there? It is too deep to wade there so a canoe or boat must have carried the people who piled the stones up.

I have many pictures of "bird butts" taken from my angle twenty or thirty feet below the tree tops. This mystery bird did not give enough clues from the backside for an identification. Fortunately I did see it with my binoculars another day in the same area and recognized it as a Warbling Vireo. But I have many other underside pictures I do not recognize.

This blurry picture is of a "mystery gull" I pursued for several minutes. It was white with a black tail and it flew out from under the bridge three times as it was chased by another similar bird. When I got home the picture showed three black and white pigeons. What else would fly out from under a bridge? (Cheryl, I was taking this picture when I first noticed you and Roxie on the other side of the creek)

One final question...Would you have opened the suitcase???

Jaspenelle is truly intrigued and posted this response to the suitcase mystery.


  1. Ruth, that is quite a story and I often find myself in the same dilhema about whether to call the police. I don't know if I would have opened the suitcase. It probably would depend on how I was feeling that day. Some days I am brave and curious, other days I don't want the trouble! I've never heard of an Inusuk before. I followed the link and learned something new today! Thanks!

  2. Anonymous6:09 pm GMT-4

    I love a good mystery as well! (And some not so good ones, The Cat Who series comes to mind. Not that it is bad, just usually predictable, like ScoobyDoo.)

    I have a near unsurmountable sense of curiosity so I can't imagine myself not opening the suitcase. The thought of finding a body would not dissuade me (though the thought of a bomb may have caused me to think for a couple nanoseconds...)

    In fact it is driving my curiosity nuts that I don't know what is in the suitcase! I keep mentally trying to open it through the computer screen.

  3. I think that I might have opened the suitcase if I had some one with me--I'm a much braver Nancy Drew with George by my side.

  4. I enjoy British mysteries as well -- in print and on tube (or should I say telly?). But I don't seem to be "enjoying" the daily variety as you are.

  5. An old fashioned looking suitcase that. It WOULD be interesting to know what was in ... for some reason I imagine old photos ... I guess because Mom kept their old photos in an old black suitcase. I don't think I'd have been brave enough to open it. Perhaps there was a candid camera hidden nearby to catch the curious?

    I probably wouldn't have reported a possible body either ... just because it would have been only my surmising ... Wouldn't want to bother the police if it was nothing ... kind of thing.

  6. I would have opened it (assuming it didn't look like it belonged to a homeless person) // When I was a teenager, a bunch of us on a hike came across an abandoned farm house from the 1940's. Many possessions were still inside and the old car was still outside. It was heavenly. We went back many, many times to explore some more and piece together the story of the people who lived there forty years earlier.

  7. Ruth, funny thing about that evening as we stood on opposite sides of the creek. Just before I noticed you standing there this bird flew out from under the bridge and perched itself in the tree beside you. As you were focusing under the bridge, I was focusing on that bird. I never managed to figure out exactly what it was, but recall thinking it sure was odd looking. Do you remember me telling you that I saw this bird? It was grayish in color with darker(greenish) wings and about the size of a pigeon. At one point this bird moved out of my sight and my attention was drawn away from it as some pigeons under the bridge were moving about.
    I guess we will never know what was going on there that night.

    As for the suitcase, its almost like it has a story just waiting to be told and all we have to do is open it up. Do we dare? One thing I know for sure...it certainly is a beautiful still life picture.

    Sometimes not knowing the whole story(much like this suitcase) makes for a good mystery tale.

  8. I think I;d have run the other direction in case someone was around - I've read too many mysteries!On a camping trip in '78 we saw a loaded backpack on the edge of a drop off. We debated checking if anyone were around - wondering if it dropped off a bike or something. Took off but I always wonder if we should have called the police.

  9. Sure!
    But, I think I would've taken my husband or someone else for help--just in case it WASN'T empty!

    I find "mystery birds" all the time--unfortunately, even a picture often isn't enough of a help to compare against the field guides!

  10. I'm with Beth. If someone had been with me, the curiosity would have won out, but alone... not so sure. So, is it still there? ;c)

  11. KB- I usually learn something new from other blogs...something that really interests me.

    Jaspenelle- My very curious and funny niece! What can I say to you. I loved your post.

    Beth- Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys defined my childhood summers. The author would have a great story in this setting.

    AC- You never know what you may find sometime. I prefer to watch my mysteries than to be in them though.

    CS- Old photos would have been an interesting find for sure. The old fashioned suitcase beside the ruins of the old mill did catch my imagination.

    Melissa- Teenagers are fearless. And in a group, they are even braver. The old house sounds fascinating. Great story!

    Cheryl-Pigeons do come in a variety of colours. I had never seen black and white ones. I do remember you mentioning that bird. "Not knowing the whole story" about the suitcase was more fun.

    Jean- Our caution does increase with age. Too many unpleasant possibilities. I would have wondered if a person had fallen with the backpack.

    Nina- Now that the leaves are big, I am seeing more unrecognizable parts of birds. I don't know if my husband would have touched the suitcase either.

    Jayne- I did return...

  12. Ruth, I would have probably left it alone for the same reasons. You are very observant. Perhaps instead of being in your line of work you should have tried working for an investigative agency :o)

    I get loads of bird butts in my photos. Maybe 50%!

  13. No--I would have gone off and found Miss Marple, and she would have worried the suitcase to death until it opened in sheer weariness or exasperation!

  14. I would have opened that suitcase within minutes!-In fact, I did find a briefcase in the road once.-It turned out to be some important papers belonging to a lawyer. You have quite an imagination.-Maybe you should write your own mystery novel!


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